The roots of "Amen" lie in a Negro spiritual, but the song first gained notice when Sidney Poitier sang it in the motion picture drama Lilies of the Field, which opened in the fall of 1963. A low-budget film about a handyman who builds a chapel for a group of nuns, Lilies of the Field was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, winning Poitier the best actor award. With that, the movie became a substantial hit, and a soundtrack album charted in the spring of 1964. "Amen," its title repeated throughout the course of a stirring melody, with brief verses relating to incidents in the Bible, was credited to Jerry Goldsmith, the composer of the film score. But when the Impressions recorded it for their Keep on Pushing LP, released in July, with an arrangement that began with a suggestion of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Amen" was credited to John W. Pate Sr. and Curtis Mayfield of the group. The Impressions' recording was released as a single in October 1964, probably to take advantage of its references to the Nativity for Christmas. It topped the R&B charts and reached the Top Ten of the pop charts. Thereafter, the song was recorded frequently by religious and pop artists. A posthumously released version by Otis Redding (which credited Redding as songwriter) placed in the pop Top 40 and the R&B Top 20 in 1968.